A review by Oxford University has found that all adults, including those considered healthy, can benefit from the protective benefits of consuming a blood pressure pill every day.
The major study, which was published in The Lancet, tested 340,000 people over 48 clinical trials and found that taking a single dose every day reduced the risk of heart and circulatory system disease by roughly 10 percent. Interestingly, these findings were consistent among all patients regardless of their measured blood pressure levels at the start of the study. The authors also report that how much an individual’s blood pressure rises or falls is a better indicator of heart disease than blood pressure alone.
These results, which are being described as a “paradigm shift,” could potentially change the way those in medicine view, study, and treat cardiovascular disease. Most notably, this could potentially make millions of people eligible for blood pressure medications, such as Ramipril and Amlodipine. Under current medical guidelines, only those with high blood pressure — higher than 140/90mmHg, according to the CDC — are eligible for antihypertensive medication.
The team of authors, led by Prof. Kazem Rahimi, have called for changes to existing guidelines prohibiting the sale of antihypertensives to those who do not have high blood pressure or no history of a cardiovascular event. Rahimi explained in a statement to The Telegraph: “Antihypertensive medication is a preventative measure… many people are not getting it who need it.”
Rahimi goes on to recommend that doctors disregard healthy blood pressure when prescribing antihypertensive medication. Instead, doctors should focus on assessing risk of heart attack and stroke by paying attention to factors such as age, signs of diabetes, and cholesterol levels.
According to the British Heart Foundation, roughly five million people are living with an undiagnosed cardiovascular condition in the UK. And nearly half of all adults in the United States suffer from a heart disease, and about one in four deaths are associated with a heart condition.